These spending diaries are a way for me to be more cognizant of my spending. They’re also a peek into my daily life for those who care.
For those who are new, my style of “spending” is a little convoluted. I have two checking accounts. I keep the majority of my money in the secondary account, transferring $280 a week into the main account. But I charge everything to the card to maximize rewards. As charges accrue, I transfer money out of the main account into the secondary one. Then I make a weekly payment on my credit card.
A tad confusing, perhaps, but it works for me. Anyway, here’s how spending went this week:
I woke up feeling okay, if not great. With chronic fatigue, that’s usually the best you can ask for.
I got through emails pretty quickly, then I checked COVID numbers. They’re staying low — still over 1,000 (about 1,350 to be exact) but much better than even three weeks ago. So that’s a relief. Deaths were relatively low (36), so hopefully those high numbers were a blip. Still, since COVID can take many weeks to kill someone, I fear we’re in for some big numbers soon. But at least we’re trending downward in cases overall, which means fewer deaths six to eight weeks from now.
Otherwise, it was an exceedingly quiet day. I worked on the blog, played on social media and of course answered emails as they came in.
After work I watched TV and once again battled food apathy. Nothing sounded good, not my frozen meals, pizza, my usual takeout, Thai fast food, the birthday burger from Red Robin — not even chips and salsa, which is my usual fallback when apathy hits.
I hemmed and hawed To the point that I started to get queasy from not eating. Around 5 p.m. — I’d last eaten at 10 a.m. — I had some cherries, which stabilized my blood sugar enough to decide that pizza was an acceptable option. So I ordered that. Unfortunately, it’s a pricey place — but damn that white pizza and cinnamon sticks are good — so the total after delivery fee and tip was $36.21. But I get about 7 meals out of it, so it’s not too bad per-meal.
I continued to watch TV until around 9 p.m. Then I saw a tweet that pissed me off about how exercise was the best antidepressant (with multiple people chiming in to say things like “Doctors should prescribe exercise and sunshine before resorting to medicine.” and “It’s impossible to feel down when training.”)
Don’t worry, I didn’t engage the Twitter user himself, just did a rant on Twitter about how ridiculous this stuff is.
Healthy-brained people don’t seem to understand that — due to the stigma (usually because of crap like the replies on that tweet) — most people don’t ask for antidepressants until they’re in serious pain.
When someone has out of control Type II diabetes, you don’t tell them to try losing weight first and then you’ll prescribe insulin. No, you get their symptoms under control so that they can then focus on a healthier lifestyle.
Depression is no different. By the time we ask for help, we’re usually non-functional or very close to it. Some of us can’t make ourselves shower or even have trouble getting out of bed for more than a bathroom break. We need to be stabilized first, then — when we don’t want literally want to die to escape the pain we’re experiencing– we’ll try the exercise/yoga/meditation everyone keeps assuring us is integral to our recovery.
And in the rant, I also pointed out that depression seems to be the only time we shame someone for taking MEDICINE to deal with a DISEASE. That there’s less stigma in taking a pill for a limp dick than for a chemical imbalance in your body (because, much as we separate mind and body, the brain is definitely inside it). It’s just ridiculous.
Having tweeted my piece, I got in the shower then went to bed, but it was already almost 10:30 p.m. and I didn’t fall asleep for probably an hour. Must learn to shut brain off.
Total spent: $36.21
I wanted to be excited about it being Friday, but it was my overtime weekend so… There was no imminent reprieve in dealing with customers. But I didn’t have plans anyway, so I guess it didn’t really matter.
COVID cases were under 1,000 — hooray! — and deaths were only moderate at 40. So hopefully this means things are easing up. Though, again, I do expect deaths to probably trend upward for a bit. Hopefully, I’m wrong, since we did have a lot of cases with younger people. Anyway, with case numbers spiraling down, I might actually feel safe getting a haircut soon. It’s very exciting!
The rest of the day was very quiet, unfortunately. My friends and I couldn’t get it together for a Zoom call that week. I decided I’ll try to organize one for next week — more than 24 hours in advance next time.
So after work I simply sat around watching Leverage and playing on social media. The small spot of good news is that there turned out to be one more season of Leverage than I thought. I’d been sad that I was almost through it, but I apparently had more episodes ahead of me. I know that’s small, but I’ll take any sized pleasant surprises I can get these days.
I called it a night around 9:30 p.m. and was asleep by 10 p.m.
Total spent: $0
I woke up around 7 a.m. but forced myself back to sleep til 8 a.m. I had some catching up to do on sleep.
There were very few emails, so I got through those quickly and did some work on the blog. Then played around on social media. I have a lot of virtual friends, and it’s nice to touch base with so many of them every day. And I guess virtual friendships are now looked at as less weird thanks to the pandemic, eh?
You guys will be happy to note that I forgot to check COVID numbers entirely. I know we’re on a downswing, so I’m a little less concerned with monitoring. But I still want to check relatively regularly to make sure it stays that way.
Around 3 p.m. I went out to get groceries. It was $19.97. Alas, no saved savings.
I came home and munched and watched Leverage and monitored emails, not necessarily in that order of priority.
At 7 p.m. I was off and put the computer down for the rest of the evening. I called it a night around 9:30 p.m., was in bed half an hour later and was asleep around 11 p.m.
Total spent: $19.97
I woke up a wee bit later than I meant to (8:30 a.m. instead of 8 a.m.). I don’t set an alarm on weekends even when I work because 99% of the time I wake up before 8 a.m. anyway. But every so often there’s an exception.
I hopped on and got through the emails pretty quickly. A tweet thread I’d done about how PFTwitter needs to remember that it’s okay to just strive for “okay” had garnered some comments that garnered a bunch more comments. By the time I got halfway through the 70ish notifications (some were from other tweets, but mostly that one), more than 20 new ones had come in. So it took a good 10 minutes to get through everything and comment on some.
One gal said that she stopped blogging because people literally wrote to her and said she shouldn’t bother since she had a lowish salary and wasn’t doing anything “special.” Another one had people ask her if she felt like a fraud since she “just worked at Starbucks.” Ridiculous.
Now more than ever, people need that kind of blog to know that you don’t have to be rich to get your finances in order. That it’s possible to make money stretch — not always far enough, especially on unemployment, but stretch nonetheless. I told the woman with the defunct blog I hoped she considered starting back up again, but we’ll see.
I worked on my blog for a while, getting the next day’s post polished and scheduled. It was about how many people struggling simply don’t make enough. It probably would have been better pre-pandemic, since I quoted a lot of statistics that were probably even worse right now, but I figured it was still a good message to send.
I started another post so I sorta kinda had a small buffer on posts again. Hooray!
Also hooray: Only 800ish positive tests came back — out of 16,000. So this wasn’t an issue of a backlog. Things are starting to look… Well, as safe as things can in a pandemic.
The Hulu charge hit my account for $6.51. Man I get a lot of entertainment from that app for so little!
The rest of the day was spent answering emails as they came in, being on Twitter and watching Leverage. Unfortunately, I was almost done with it, so I’d have to find something new to watch soon. Sigh.
I called it a night at 9 p.m. and was asleep by 9:30 p.m.
Total spent: $6.51
I woke up to a low number of emails, so I got through them quickly. Then I did some work on the blog and waited for my doctor appointment at 11:30 a.m.
Oh, and under 500 new COVID cases! Zero deaths! This could be a weekend lag but considering, even just two weeks ago, a weekend lag meant ‘only” 1,500-2,000 new cases reported… I’ll take it!
I was closing in on my last box of protein bars, so I ordered more for the month. For six boxes, it’s $76.80 (including $0.76 in saved savings).
Pretty much nothing happened after my doctor appointment (besides emails and social media) until after I was off work.
A friend called me in a panic about meeting this guy from Bumble. We talked for a while, and she called back when it didn’t turn out well. And we talked even more.
Unfortunately, I was all out of Leverage episodes. I do so love that show. So I started The Fall with Gillian Anderson, which seemed promising.
I called it a night at 9 p.m. and was asleep by 10 p.m.
Total spent: $76.80
I woke up half an hour before my alarm, so I decided to jump on the Twitter trend of doing X number of facts about me (where X is your age). If anyone gets bored/curious, you can read it here. You shouldn’t need a Twitter account to view it.
I then answered emails and wrote up my birthday post for the following day. I also tidied up Thursday’s post. Both got scheduled for social media.
A Seattle friend called me to sing Happy Birthday and was upset that he was a day early. We chatted for a while, then he had to go train some people. He’s a personal trainer, so he’s doing outdoor, socially distanced training. He had to close his gym and isn’t sure when he’ll be allowed to reopen. Since it’s small, I don’t think he’ll be able to have many people in at a time, so even once he’s back up and running, things will be dicey.
I started a load of laundry, so I put $3.50 into the Washer/Dryer fund. I kept thinking I had to be somewhere that day, but I didn’t. I had a therapy appointment after work, which I think was what was confusing me.
My friend Jennifer Mah (@FiConfessions on Twitter and she does live events about financial literacy/independence at ChooseFI.com) was on this episode of Earn and Invest. Generally I dislike podcasts. But a) I love Jennifer’s voice — it’s very warm — and b) it was a beautiful (if emotionally raw) episode about mental health and money. (Trigger warning: depression, suicidality, brief mention of rape.)
Otherwise, the day and night were pretty quiet. I watched more of The Fall and turned off the TV at 9 p.m. I was in bed half an hour later and was asleep by 10 p.m.
Total spent: $0
My birthday! Which I unfortunately woke up at 7 a.m. for.
I answered a bunch of birthday wishes on Twitter and a few general replies to other stuff I had tweeted. By the time I looked up from the phone it was after 8 a.m.
I called in an order to Cracker Barrel of a French toast breakfast and added an order of biscuits with apple butter. The staff used to add those to the meal for free, even though they’re not technically included. But apparently people were showing up and eating just biscuits and apple butter and maybe a little coffee. So the restaurant nixed the freebies. Other people ruin everything.
Since I was paying for them, I got six biscuits. After tip, it was $14.51.
I came home and vastly overate, but it was delicious. I had biscuits off and on throughout the morning. Then around noon fell into a food-coma nap for an hour.
I got up, watched a bit more of The Fall, then went to my massage. Both of us were masked, of course. I have a bunch of credit both from past months’ auto-charges and from the $200 credit I’d called in with stimulus money. So I just had to pay the tip ($15 out of my walking around money). My masseuse was so sweet that she got me a card.
I then zoomed over to The Cheesecake Factory — happily one was just three miles away from the massage place, so I didn’t have to do the 20-minute drive from my house to the one in midtown — and picked up a slab of chocolate mousse cake. It was a heinous $9.27 ($10.77 after tip). But birthdays only come around once per year.
I came home, but was still too full from breakfast and biscuits to eat the cake. So I put it in the fridge and got back to The Fall and social media. When I finally had some room in my stomach, I ate the cake.
Around 8 p.m. I got a note from a friend from the trivia group saying there was something by my front door. She’d dropped off flowers and Trader Joe’s kettle corn (something I always request if she asks what snacks to bring for game night). She’s pretty great — especially since I’m a 20-minute drive away. So this was not a super convenient trip.
So I munched on some kettle corn, but I didn’t make much headway thanks to the cake still in my stomach. I never even got close to lunch or dinner. Which — given the calories in the breakfast and cake — is probably for the best.
I fell asleep around 10:30 p.m.
Total spent: $40.28 ($25.28 out of weekly funds)
Total spent: $179.77 ($164.77 out of weekly funds)
COVID-era spending continues to be significantly lower than normal. I’d started a new financial week on Thursday; and even with the $76.80 for protein bars, I still had $89ish left seven days later. So not bad at all. Here’s hoping this remains the trend.
How did everyone else’s week go?